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Mueller’s report most definitely does not exonerate Trump. In fact it clearly states: “While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

The report covers Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, a propaganda operation meant to help Trump win, damage Hillary Clinton and undermine confidence in our democracy. The report concluded that the Trump campaign welcomed Russia’s help and sought to exploit it, but there was not enough evidence to bring formal charges of conspiracy.

On collusion, which is not a crime, the report confirms that there were multiple shady connections between Trump and Russia. Mueller explicitly concludes that “the Campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian effort.” Trump’s team responded to invitations to get dirt on Clinton and no one from the campaign ever contacted authorities. Trump publicly called for the release of hacked emails. Trump has denied Russia’s election interference. This is the essence of collusion.

On obstruction, the report details 10 instances where President Donald Trump potentially committed obstruction of justice including: Trump asking (former FBI Director) James Comey to let (former National Security Advisor) Michael Flynn go, Trump’s reaction to the Russia investigation, the firing of Comey, efforts to oust Mueller, efforts to curtail the Russia investigation, attempts to stop the public from seeing the evidence, Trump trying to get (former Attorney General) Jeff Sessions to take back control of the investigation, Trump telling former White House lawyer Don McGahn to deny that the president had wanted the special counsel (Mueller) removed.

In reiterating his written report, Mueller’s televised statement confirmed “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”

It is a long-standing Justice Department legal opinion that the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing. The only way to hold the president responsible for his actions is for Congress to begin impeachment proceedings. No one is above the law. It’s time that we stand up for our Constitution and hold Trump responsible for his actions.

Bill Zawada, Dyer

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